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About the Fellowships

 

Application & Selection

 

Current Fellows' Profiles

 

Alumni Profiles

 

Participating Agencies

 

Placement in Japan

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Compensation, Benefits and Allowances

 

Application Packet

 

Selection Criteria

 

Major Program Requirements

 

Information Sessions

 

Fellowship Family Perspectives

 

Featured Fellows

 

Alumni Outreach

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions About the Mansfield Fellowships

Overview of the Mansfield Fellowships and Eligibility

 

1. What is the Mansfield Fellowship Program?
2. How long is the Fellowship and what does it entail?
3. Can my family accompany me to Washington, D.C. and to Japan?
4. Must I be a federal government employee to apply for the Fellowship?
5. Are members of the uniformed services eligible?
6. Does my agency have to endorse my participation in the Fellowship Program?
7. What is the difference between a detailee and a non-detailee?
8. Can I continue working in my U.S. government agency during the Fellowship?
9. If I participate in the Fellowship, will I be separating from Federal service?
10. If I am a detailee, will my agency have to obligate funds other than my salary and benefits?
11. How will I receive my salary if I am a non-detailee? What about grade and step increases?
12. If my agency agrees to pay my salary for only one year while I am on the program, will the Mansfield Foundation cover my salary for the second year? Is 'split-funding' an option?
13. Does the Fellowship Program provide allowances of any type?

14. Are there any post-Fellowship responsibilities?
15. How can I learn more about the Mansfield Fellowship Program?
16. I live outside the Washington, D.C., area and cannot attend an information session. Is it possible to arrange a conference call?

17. Are there any age requirements?

18. Is it mandatory to have two consecutive years of federal service employment immediately prior to the application deadline?

19. I will not have two consecutive years of federal service employment immediately prior to the application deadline, however I have more than five years of cumulative federal service. Can I apply?

20. I am in the military reserves. Am I eligible to apply?

21. I am a contractor with the federal government. Am I eligible to apply?

22. I am retired from federal service. Can I apply?

23. Is the application deadline flexible?

 

Year One Training: Washington, D.C.

 

1. Where is the first year training held and what kind of training is provided?
2. Is it mandatory for the first year of training to be in Washington, D.C.?
3. I am currently stationed in Japan. If selected, would I be allowed to remain in Japan for language training?
4. I already speak Japanese. Is it mandatory for me to attend language classes during the first year of training?
5. Will the Mansfield Foundation provide Japanese language training for my family?
6. I am from out of state. Will the Mansfield Foundation provide housing and cover the cost of my move to Washington, D.C.?

 

Year Two: Japan

 

1. What will I be doing in Japan?
2. Where will I be placed and who makes the decision?
3. Does the Mansfield Foundation provide housing in Japan?
4. My spouse would like to work in Japan. What type of visa does the Mansfield Foundation provide?

 

Application and Selection

 

1. How does the selection process work?
2. What are the selection criteria?
3. How many Fellows are selected each year?
4. Is there a typical profile of the successful candidate?
5. Is proficiency in the Japanese language a requirement for selection?
6. How do I obtain an application?
7. Is it possible to apply directly for the Mansfield Fellowships without involving my agency?

8. Can you share completed applications from past years?

 

Miscellaneous Questions

1. Do you offer a similar program for China or Korea?

 

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The Mansfield Fellowship Program: Overview and Eligibility

What is the Mansfield Fellowship Program?

The Mansfield Fellowship Program-named after Mike Mansfield, former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Senate Majority Leader, U. S. Senator and U.S. Congressman-is a first-of-its-kind program for both the United States and Japan. The Fellowships enable U.S. federal government employees to learn Japanese and to gain a substantial knowledge about the government of Japan by working long-term in placements in Japanese government offices.

 

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How long is the Fellowship and what does it entail?
The Fellowship program involves two years of full-time study and work. During the first year, which begins in September, the Fellows receive intensive Japanese language and area studies training in the Washington, D.C., area. They also participate in orientation sessions on the politics, economy and culture of Japan, and work closely with the Mansfield Foundation staff and representatives of the government of Japan to arrange an appropriate placement in a Japanese government office. At the conclusion of the first year, Fellows participate in two months of intensive language training in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, in order to enhance their language proficiency and confidence in their language skills. Fellows spend the second year in Japan, working in parliamentary offices, ministries or other agencies of the Japanese government, or in non-governmental Japanese institutions as appropriate. Following their return home in late summer at the end of the second year, Fellows are expected to return to federal service and apply and share the knowledge and expertise they have gained in the program.

 

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Can my family accompany me to Washington, D.C., and to Japan?
Yes. Fellows may bring members of their immediate families with them to Washington, D.C., and to Japan. However, the program does not provide Japanese language training for family members and the Mansfield Foundation does not pay for the Fellows and their families to relocate from out-of-state to Washington, D.C., for the first year of training. In Japan, the Mansfield Foundation does provide allowances for families and children.

 

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Must I be a federal government employee to apply for the Fellowship?
Yes. The Mansfield Fellowships are awarded only to United States citizens who are employees of the U.S. federal government, whose positions are classified according to the federal civil service pay schedules. There is no classification requirement within the U.S. civil service. However, Fellows must have completed at least two consecutive years of service immediately preceding the application deadline. It is expected that Fellows will return to service in the U.S. government for at least two years after completing the Fellowship program.

 

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Are members of the uniformed services eligible?
Yes. Members of the uniformed services must meet the same program requirements as civilian employees of the federal government. They also are expected to return to military service for at least two years after the Fellowship.

 

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Does my agency have to endorse my participation in the Fellowship Program?
Yes. Applicants must receive written authorization from their agencies in order to participate in the program. This authorization must specify whether the applicant will participate as a detailee (the agency provides salary and benefits) or non-detailee (the Fellowship provides salary and some benefits).

 

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What is the difference between a detailee and a non-detailee? Specifically, a "detailee" is a Fellow whose home agency continues to pay his/her salary and benefits for the duration of the two-year program. A "non-detailee" is a Fellow whose agency does not pay his/her salary for the duration of the program. Non-detailee Fellows' salaries are paid by the Mansfield Foundation. Fellows from the executive branch may be either detailees or non-detailees. Congressional staff are non-detailees.

 

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Can I continue working in my U.S. government agency during the Fellowship?
No. Both the Fellows and their U.S. agencies agree that the Fellow will not perform routine tasks for the agency while participating in the Fellowship program. The Fellowship program is rigorous and intensive, requiring the Fellows to devote themselves full-time to language study during the first year and to the placement in Japan during the second year. By agreeing to temporarily discontinue work at their U.S. agencies, the Fellows also avoid any possible conflicts of interest when they work in Japanese government offices.

 

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If I participate in the Fellowship, will I be separating from Federal service?
Fellows from executive branch agencies, both detailees and non-detailees are not required to separate from service while they are in the program. Fellows who do not separate from federal service may have their time in the Fellowship program counted toward retirement in federal service. Non-detailee Fellows who are congressional staff must separate from service in order to participate in the program.

 

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If I am a 'detailee', will my agency have to obligate funds other than my salary and benefits?
No. The Fellowship program will cover the costs associated with the year-one language and area studies in Washington, D.C., moving to Japan, language training, housing, cost of living differential and education for school-age children during year-two in Japan. (Please check allowances for details).

 

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How will I receive my salary if I am a non-detailee? What about grade and step increases?
The non-detailee Fellow's agency may continue to pay the Fellow's salary and benefits. Agencies may enter into an agreement with the Mansfield Foundation whereby the Mansfield Foundation will reimburse the agency for the Fellow's salary and allowable benefits. Non-detailee Fellows receive grade and step increases in the same manner as detailee Fellows.

 

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If my agency agrees to pay my salary for only one year while I am on the program, will the Mansfield Foundation cover my salary for the second year? Is 'split-funding' an option?
Split funding is not an option. Applicants must apply either as 'detailees' or 'non-detailees.'

 

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Does the Fellowship Program provide allowances of any type? Yes. In accordance with the legislation creating the program, Fellows receive allowances for housing and a post allowance to cover the high cost of living in Japan. These allowances are calculated according to the Standardized Regulations of the Department of State. In addition, Fellows receive a shipping allowance of up to $1,000 for personal belongings, and Fellows with school-age children (grades K-12) receive an educational allowance.

 

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Are there any post-Fellowship responsibilities?
Once they return to the United States, it is expected that the Fellows will apply their skills, knowledge and expertise in their professional work in agencies of the U.S. government. Alumni Fellows have been promoted or assigned to positions that allow them to continue to work on Japan issues and cooperative programs and provide advice to their agencies on Japanese decision-making systems and processes. In addition, the Fellows participate in outreach activities to inform a broad audience, including congressional staff, government officials, think tank representatives and business leaders, about the Fellowship program and what they have learned. They are invited to the Mansfield Foundation's Fellowship alumni events and other programs, and they assist the Center in evaluating the program.

 

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How can I learn more about the Mansfield Fellowship Program?
The Mansfield Foundation offers Fellowship Program Information Sessions October through March. Prospective applicants and agency representatives are invited to attend these brown bag lunch information sessions from noon to 1 pm at the Mansfield Foundation, 1401 New York Avenue, Suite 740, Washington, D.C. 20005. For more information, call Ms. Sara M. Seavey at (202) 347-1994 or e-mail Sseavey@mansfieldfdn.org.

 

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I live outside the Washington, D.C., area and cannot attend an information session. Is it possible to arrange a conference call?
Yes. Conference calls can be arranged for candidates who live outside the Washington, D.C. area and are unable to attend the information sessions.

 

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Are there any age requirements?
No. However, it is mandatory for the Fellows to return to federal service for at least two years upon completion of the program.

 

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Is it mandatory to have two consecutive years of federal service employment immediately prior to the application deadline?
Yes.

 

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I will not have two consecutive years of federal service employment immediately prior to the application deadline, however I have more than five years of cumulative federal service. Can I apply?
No. The two consecutive years immediately preceding the application deadline are mandatory.

 

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I am in the military reserves. Am I eligible to apply?
No. In order to apply, you must be a full-time federal government employee.

 

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I am a contractor with the federal government. Am I eligible to apply?
Federal government contractors are only eligible to apply if their time as a contractor is counted toward federal service retirement. This applies to all contractors, including laboratory personnel.

 

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I am retired from federal service. Can I apply?
No.

 

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Is the application deadline flexible?
No.

 

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Year One Training: Washington, D.C.

 

Where is the first year of training held and what kind of training is provided?
Course work during the first year takes place in the Washington, D.C., area. In addition to participating in courses in the Japanese language, history, politics, government, economy and culture, the Fellows work with the Mansfield Foundation and the Embassy of Japan to arrange placements in Japan. They also attend Foundation-sponsored orientation sessions and supplemental meetings with government officials, business representatives and others who have expertise in contemporary U.S.-Japan issues. The Washington, D.C.-based program demands during the first year do not permit independent study in the home state. At the conclusion of the first year, Fellows participate in a homestay program, which includes two months of rigorous language training in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, in order to enhance their language proficiency and confidence in their language skills.

 

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Is it mandatory for the first year of training to be in Washington, D.C.?
Yes. The authorizing legislation mandates that the first year of the Fellowship be carried out in the Washington, D.C., area.

 

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I am currently stationed in Japan. If selected, would I be allowed to remain in Japan for language training?
No. Pursuant to the authorizing legislation, Fellows must undergo language and area studies training in the Washington, D.C., area.

 

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I already speak Japanese. Is it mandatory for me to attend language classes during the first year of training?
Yes.

 

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Will the Mansfield Foundation provide Japanese language training for my family?
No. However, the Mansfield Foundation can provide information regarding Japanese language schools in the Washington, D.C. area.

 

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I am from out of state. Will the Mansfield Foundation provide housing and cover the cost of my move to Washington, D.C.? The Mansfield Foundation cannot cover the cost of moving to Washington, D.C. during year-one. However, if funding is available, the Mansfield Foundation will provide a small monthly stipend to offset the cost of the Fellow's relocation to Washington, D.C.

 

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Year Two: Japan

 

What will I be doing in Japan?
During the second year in Japan, the Fellows work full-time in placements in Japanese government offices, ministries and agencies. In some placements, Fellows have worked alongside their Japanese counterparts and have had actual project assignments while in others, the Fellows have observed a broad range of activities at the agency. Fellows may be asked to accompany their Japanese colleagues on business trips or to make presentations and reports. All work is conducted in Japanese. In addition to working in their placements, Fellows attend additional language training sessions provided by the government of Japan, and participate in tours and field trips as well as in a program of continuing education sponsored by the Mansfield Foundation.

 

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Where will I be placed and who makes the decision?
As part of the application process, Fellows submit a project proposal for the year in Japan, including placement preferences. During the first year of the Fellowship, the Mansfield Foundation works closely with each Fellow and with the government of Japan to arrange an appropriate placement that is consistent with the Fellow's project plan. The government of Japan makes the final decision and the Mansfield Foundation cannot guarantee a particular placement; however, the Fellows in previous groups have been successful in their assigned placements. Some Fellows work in two government offices during the year in Japan; however, in order for the Fellows to have the opportunity to gain substantive exposure to the Japanese government work place, one of the placements must be a minimum of six months in duration.

 

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Does the Mansfield Foundation provide housing in Japan?
Yes. The Mansfield Foundation, working closely with its Tokyo office, makes appropriate housing arrangements for the Fellows and the members of their immediate families in Japan.

 

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My spouse would like to work in Japan. What type of visa does the Mansfield Foundation provide?
The Government of Japan provides official visas for Fellows and members of their immediate family. The official visa does not serve as a work authorization for spouses. Fellows' spouses must ask their employers to sponsor their work visas.

 

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Application and Selection

 

How does the selection process work?
The Mansfield Foundation and a bi-national committee review individual applications and conduct personal interviews. Applications close on April 1 and the selection process takes place in mid-May for each new group. Applicants are notified in June.

 

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What are the criteria for selection?
The Mike Mansfield Fellowships are competitive and are awarded on merit with selection based on each candidate's qualifications relative to the entire pool of applicants. Successful candidates for the Fellowship program will be United States citizens and federal government employees who demonstrate the following:

  • a strong career interest in areas of importance to the U.S.-Japan relationship

  • the ability to articulate in a project plan clear goals and objectives and placement preferences for the year in Japan
    their agencies' interest in U.S.-Japan issues and how participation in the Fellowships will contribute to their agencies' missions

  • service in U.S. agencies with jurisdiction over issues of importance to U.S.-Japan relations

  • two consecutive years of service in the U.S. government and a commitment to continuing service in the federal government for a minimum of two years after the Fellowships

  • a broad range of knowledge about the United States' interests in Japan and an interest in expanding that knowledge

  • evidence of the following personal qualities: self-discipline; a willingness to work long hours under stress where Japanese is the only language used and to take initiative; the capacity to deal with ambiguity; the ability to work successfully as a member of a team; a willingness to meet new people and build professional relationships; moral integrity; and sociability, curiosity, tact, adaptability, flexibility, resourcefulness, independence, and self-reliance.

     

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How many Fellows are selected each year?
The legislation creating the Mansfield Fellowships authorizes selection of up to 10 Fellows annually for the two-year program with no more than three non-detailees in each group, contingent upon congressional appropriations. (Detailees have their agencies pay salary and benefits during the Fellowship while non-detailees have the Fellowship provide salary and benefits.) Given the ratio of detailees to non-detailees, equally qualified candidates have a better chance for selection as detailees.

 

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Is there a typical profile of the successful candidate?
No. Fellows represent a variety of U.S. government agencies and have a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds, both policy-making and technical.

 

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Is proficiency in the Japanese language a requirement for selection?
No. Although some Fellows have had knowledge of the Japanese language prior to applying for the program, it is not necessary for an applicant to be proficient in Japanese and no specific preference is given to applicants with prior language training. The first year of the program consists of intensive Japanese language training, which is designed to enable the Fellows to reach a level-two proficiency. Level-two is the level established by the U.S. Foreign Service and the minimum required for the Fellows to make a smooth transition to living in Japan and working in the Japanese work place. However, experience has shown that Fellows who have prior Japanese language training tend to make an easier adjustment to the year in Japan.

 

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How do I obtain an application?
The Mansfield Fellowship application is completed online (link here) but submitted in hard copy.

Please refer to http://www.mansfieldfdn.org/fellow/manappli.htm .

 

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Is it possible to apply directly for the Mansfield Fellowships without involving my agency?
No. Applications received without signed agency authorization are considered incomplete and are disqualified.

 

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Can you share completed applications from past years?
The Mansfield Foundation does not distribute completed applications from previous years.

 

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Miscellaneous

 

Do you offer a similar program for China or Korea?
No. We do not have a similar program for China or Korea.

 

 

 

 

 

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